Morning, friends! I hope you are ready for some fun, because that is indeed what this Toon In is offering. Because I am happy to say that we certainly have a classic animated short for you this week. In fact One Droopy Knight ended up being nominated for an Academy Award in 1958. Of course as you can tell by the title One Droopy Knight, the star is obviously Droopy.
Droopy is hands down, one of my favorite animated characters. That has a ton to do with the creator of the character, which was Tex Avery. The animator was a master at slapstick humor to say the very least. Furthermore the animator was recognized as being a pioneer in the attempt to change the style of animation, that the Walt Disney studio was known for. That type of realism and even sentinmentality wasn’t what Avery was interested in.
Avery I think was inspired by the absurd and unexpected. Characters in a short might halt the cartoon to remark on the gags or action itself. Going so far as to address the audience about the plot as well as ‘escaping’ the film reel.
Perhaps the easiest way to sum up Avery’s attitude on animation was this quote from Joe Adamson’s 1975 book, Tex Avery: King of Cartoons.:
“In a cartoon you can do anything.”
While Tex Avery was the creator of Droopy, by 1958 he had ceased working on theatrical shorts. Furthermore in the 1960s and 1970s he would produce animation for television commercials. For various companies like Kool-Aid, Frito-Lay, as well as Raid!
[Via] Jeff Quitney
I think that with One Droopy Knight being released in 1957, it is obvious that Tex Avery wasn’t involved. In this case the Director was Michael Lah, the short produced by Hanna-Barbera. Although Avery’s spirit is still evident in the cartoon, at least I think so. The story concerns Droopy and his often bullyish rival Butch as knights of the realm. Tasked with heading out to conqueror a fearsome dragon that is terrorizing the countryside.
You will remember I had mentioned that One Droopy Knight was nominated for an Oscar. It did not take home the gold however, losing out to Birds Anonymous. Which was a Merrie Melodies short, directed by Friz Freleng, and starring Sylvester and Tweety.